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November 28, 2006

The best summary of H5N1 to date

This week The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published three articles on the evolving story of the influenza A/H5N1 panzootic that has the potential to become a human pandemic. Two are rather meager case series, one from Turkey and one from Indonesia. It is an extraordinary indication of the paucity of information that these papers could get published in one of the world's premier medical journals, a fact duly noted by Canadian Press's Helen Branswell. The two papers have some moderately interesting information, none of it startling for those who follow this issue. But the Commentary by Robert Webster and Elena Govorkova that accompanies the two papers is a model of clarity and a stunning summary of where we are at this moment. Hardly a word of the 1600 word essay is wasted. It would make an admirable blog post. Here are the opening and closing paragraphs:

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Posted by dymaxion at November 28, 2006 10:36 PM

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